Fast times are year round at the Alpine Slide
Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain bobsleds are an exhilerating descent fur for all ages that serves up a taste of Olympic bobsleding. Riders control their own speed and lean into and out of banked turns and through long straightaways during each exciting quarter-mile run. After hot fun cool off on the double water slide featuring dual flumes filled with cascading water and a maze of turns. Putt `N Around Go Karts and 18-hole miniature golf too. 1/4 mile west of the Village. 800 Wildrose Ln., Big Bear Lake. 909-866-4626.
It's a blast on the bobsleds...
“Lean into the turns. Slow down by applying the brake handle. Go into a tuck in the straightaways.” Mission Viejo resident Dan Dobbs wasn’t too receptive to last minute advice prior to his first ride on the Alpine Slide, Big Bear’s year-round bobsled-style adventure. “Hey, I’ve ridden luge before,” he said of a previous descent he made.
Dobbs darted down the quarter-mile cement track l through banked turns and long straightaways like he was competing for an Olympic medal. Second time down was even better, and by the third Dobbs looked like a seasoned pro, leaning forward to minimize wind drag as he zipped down the track. At Alpine Slide, how fast you go depends entirely on you. Which is what makes Big Bear’sAlpine Slide, the only ride of its kind west of Colorado, so unique.
Riders experience Olympic-size thrills on the Alpine Slide, where bobsleds never need snow and there’s no ice required. The sleds sport teflon runners and ball-bearing wheels, which enable them to roll freely down the two turn-filled cement tracks. No medals are awarded at Alpine Slide, but riders do experience many of the same gravitational forces found in Olympic bobsled or luge. Only this is pure fun, not a workout!
Indeed Alpine Slide is much more than the typical mass transit amusement park attraction, where there’s typically little or no interaction by the rider. Skill does matter, as riders use just enough brake to stay in control and lean into each turn to garner momentum and turn gravity into an ally. No two trips down are ever quite the same. One track is dedicated to first-timers and those who prefer to go slow, making it the perfect training ground.
That’s the one Bassie Sacks was on during her visit, before the 11-year-old Lomita resident graduated to the track geared to faster sledders. “The sled goes fast so you have to be careful,” she says . “I was going as fast as I can but sometimes I had to slow down. I went about eight times (today) and it was a blast. I could go a hundred times and not get sick of it.”
Bobsled rides are just $5 each, or $20 for a five-ride book, and include a scenic chairlift ride to the top with great views of the lake. The area is open weekends till June 9 then daily through mid-September, when it’s weekends only again till winter with the area’s powerful snowmaking guns blanket the slopes with snow for inner tubing.
Alpine Slide is more than just a bobsled ride...
One way or another, fast times are always in order because Alpine Slide is also home to the popular double water slide. Two flumes filled with cool, cascading water take riders through a maze of twisting turns and straightaways, before dumping them out in the solar heated pool at the bottom. Lay down and go faster, sit up and slow down...both are funfilled fast rides and a great way to beat the heat.
Water slide rides are inexpensive—all-day passes cost just $15, ten rides are $10, or $2 per ride. Parents who don’t play don’t have to pay to get in, unlike other water parks, and many just spread a blanket out on the grass or take a seat on the two outdoor decks while the youngsters have a blast.
Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain also features the Putt `N Around go-karts and 18-hole miniature golf course, filled with water hazards, breaking greens and “sand traps.”
Can Am go-karts sport 9 horsepower Honda motors, rack and pinion steering, and safety features including roll bars and four-point harness restraints. After dark Fridays and Saturdays through Big Bear Summer, Alpine Slide comes alive at night for bobsled and Putt `N Around fun.